August 16, 2023
NSSF Files Amicus to Inter-American Court of Human Rights
WASHINGTON, D.C. — NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, filed an amicus brief in response to a request for an advisory opinion submitted by Mexico to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR). NSSF argues the Court should decline Mexico’s invitation to issue an advisory position as Mexico is attempting to use the Court to bolster their erroneous $10 billion lawsuit against U.S. manufacturers and undermine the bipartisan Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) passed by Congress in 2005.
That case is being considered on appeal by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit after being dismissed by a U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Mexico brought a second case against five Arizona-based firearm retailers, baselessly accusing them of illegal international firearms trafficking. A motion to dismiss the case is pending.
“Mexico is attempting to improperly influence sovereign U.S. Courts by co-opting an international human rights court that has no jurisdiction on the pending appellate decision,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF’s Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Mexican authorities failed to disclose this $10 billion lawsuit against U.S. manufacturers, a result of their own failures to confront narco-terrorists on their side of the border, which are responsible for the horrific crimes and illegal international firearms trafficking. Mexico is attempting to co-opt the IACHR without having to answer how firearms are lawfully made and sold in the United States but illegally trafficked across the border through illegal criminal networks and corrupt government officials.”
NSSF is sympathetic to the plight of the Mexican people, but it is a consequence of their own government, not of lawful U.S. companies.
Mexico’s request for an advisory position from the IACHR Inter-American Court of Human Rights reveals the disdain for the sovereignty of U.S. law and Constitutionally-protected freedoms. Mexico’s abuse of the IAHCR is an attempt to attack the sovereign jurisdiction of U.S. Courts to attempt to compel a favorable decision that would trample on Constitutionally-protected rights and punish the lawful firearm industry in a manner that is specifically prohibited under U.S. law.
The IACHR has previously noted in rejection of other previous advisory opinions that it avoids, “being used as a mechanism to obtain an indirect ruling on a matter that is in dispute or being litigated at the domestic level.”
Mexico’s rush to judgement is a transparent attempt to levy the IACHR against U.S. Courts to inflate a weak legal theory.
The firearm industry is strictly regulated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). All firearms lawfully-made and lawfully-sold at retail are accompanied with an ATF Form 4473 attesting the purchaser is not a prohibited individual, which is verified by an FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) verification.
NSSF has longstanding, decades-old partnerships with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and ATF for the “Don’t Lie for the Other GuyTM” straw purchase prevention program and Operation Secure Store® to assist firearm retailers in protecting their inventory against burglary and robbery.
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.
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